Angry Birds! Watch the bizarre moment when aggressive birds force cricketers to duck for cover and cling to each other for protection – slowing down the WBBL game
- Sydney Thunder players fell victim to protective plovers on Tuesday
- Terrified players took cover in their loss to the Hobart Hurricanes
- The plover parents had laid their nest in the middle of Blacktown Sportspark
- It led to humorous scenes for spectators as players clung for their lives
Cricketers were faced with terrifying scenes on Tuesday night, when a few angry birds terrified players who had to flee for cover at a WBBL game.
Two plover parents, a notoriously grumpy bird species also known as Masked Lapwings, camped in the field in the Hobart Hurricanes 49-run victory over the Sydney Thunder at Blacktown Sportspark in western Sydney.
The fiercely protective Mom and Dad clearly thought the Thunder players were some sort of lime-green monster predators; starring Phoebe Litchfield in particular who bears the brunt of parental anxiety.
Powerfully built all-rounder Sammy-Jo Johnson was reduced to a laughing mess that lay horizontally on the ground to escape the flying birds, much to the delight of the commentators.
Sydney Thunder star Phoebe Litchfield fell victim to an overly protective Plover parent during a WBBL match on Tuesday
Sam Bates and Lauren Smith also grabbed each other and lay on the floor together as they jumped away from one of the angry parents – although thankfully they both saw the funny side of the situation.
“I see a few players really hitting the decks right now,” laughed former Australian and Thunder legend Alex Blackwell on the Fox Sports broadcast of the match.
‘A mom and dad plover, looks like they’re protecting the chicks. The plovers are quite territorial and lay their nests randomly on the outside field.
“You would expect a nest to be somewhere better protected, but it seems the nest was placed on a short cover,” said Blackwell, who grew up playing territorial birds in regional NSW.
Thunder all-rounder Sammy-Jo Johnson lays flat on the field as a plover dives
Sam Bates (left) and Lauren Smith (right) clung to each other as they huddled on the ground as a plover dove – although luckily the laughing players saw the funny side
A ground crew member tries to help Thunderstar Phoebe Litchfield dodge a surfacing plover
According to Australia’s largest wildlife rescue mission, plovers live across Australia and lay their eggs on a nest on the ground in open areas such as, it turns out, in the middle of elite sports fields.
‘Plovers are very protective of their nests and chicks. This is especially true after the chicks have hatched. Adults may dive for intruders, use loud noises and dive or pretend to have a broken wing in an attempt to lure the intruder away from the nest. the organization’s website says:.
Plovers lay their nests on the ground in the middle of open areas
Plover (aka Masked Lapwings) parents are fiercely protective of their newborn chicks, and will often shoot people if they are around
Blackwell also treated viewers to another sport plover story, admitting that while Australian star Ellyse Perry scored a historic 213* at North Sydney Oval, her teammates paid more attention to a plover on the mound.
“I remember a day-night test match where Elysse Perry got a 200. What concerned us was that there was a plover in North Sydney Oval, so it’s not just in Blacktown, they can be anywhere in Sydney,” she said.
The plovers eventually went away, but it wasn’t enough to get rattled Thunder players across the line.
Hurricanes legpinner Maisy Gibson celebrates after Rachael Haynes key wicket on Tuesday night in Blacktown
A masterclass bowling from the Hurricanes reduced a star-studded Thunder batting lineup to just 95; with Maisy Gibson, Heather Graham and Hayley Jensen all taking two wickets.
It came after South African smasher Lizelle Lee led the women in purple to 7-144 from their 20 overs with a dynamic 41 from 29 balls.
The Hurricanes, who are third on the ladder after winning two of their first three, travel to Western Australia to face the Perth Scorchers on Sunday.
The Thunder, who are currently wooden spoonbills, will try to recover when they also travel to Perth this Saturday to defeat the Scorchers.